Beacom School of Business at The U names Kevin Schieffer South Dakota Businessman of the Year

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Kevin V. Schieffer was presented a Distinguished Service Award: South Dakota Businessman for 2009 during The Beacom School of Business Board of Governors annual awards luncheon on Friday, Oct. 9 at The University of South Dakota.

Schieffer, former president and CEO of Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern (DM&E) Railroad, received his B.A. from USD and a juris doctor from Georgetown University. Prior to being named CEO of DM&E, he was United States Attorney for South Dakota after being appointed to the position by President George H.W. Bush. For several years, Schieffer served as legislative counsel to U.S. Sen. Larry Pressler, R-S.D., for the senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. From 1987 to 1991, he served as chief-of-staff for Sen. Pressler.

In addition, Schieffer practiced law for three years serving as legal counsel for DM&E Railroad in the mid-1990s. When the previous ownership group attempted to abandon the rail line, which would’ve resulted in South Dakota losing its only east-west rail line through the center of the state, Schieffer led negotiations that resulted in the restructuring and successful re-capitalization of the company in 1994. He also initiated development of the company’s Powder River Basin Project and he negotiated the acquisition of 1,400-mile IC&E system that extended DM&E’s reach into Chicago and provided new connections with every major railroad in North America. During his time, DM&E transitioned into the largest and most successful regional railroads in the United States with more than 1,000 employees operating in eight states. The company, which is headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., recently sold for $1.5 billion.